Email: Magic Johnson Is in a Coma, Near Death
Netlore Archive: Forwarded email disguised as a news flash from CNN claims basketball great Earvin 'Magic' Johnson is in a coma and dying in a Los Angeles hospital.
Description: Email hoax
Circulating since: Sep. 2003
Email text contributed by V. Perrodin, Sep. 22, 2003:
Thursday, September 18, 2003 Posted: 1810 GMT
(CNN) -- Former L. A. Laker Earvin "Magic" Johnson is in a coma tonight at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and is not expected to live. Johnson, 44, is suffering from complications related to HIV, and internal bleeding, a spokesman for Johnson's attorney told CNN. "His eyes are open, but it's just a dead stare. He could go any day now," said the spokesman, who asked that his name not be used. Johnson was last seen publicly on July 27 in Los Angeles when he hosted "A Midsummer Night's Magic", a charity basketball event at the Staples center. The 6ft - 9in. Johnson, three-times voted the NBA's most valuable player, was admitted to the intensive care unit last weekend under another name. A hospital spokeswoman refused to confirm reports Johnson was a patient there.
A press release submitted to media outlets on Sept. 17 announced Johnson's new production company had signed a multimillion-dollar Hollywood movie deal with Warner Bros. Pictures. Johnson, the NBA star-turned-entrepreneur, co-founded Magic Hallway Pictures in July with producer Paul Hall, whose credits include "Higher Learning" and the 2000 remake of "Shaft." Hall could not be reached for comment.
On November 7, 1991, Johnson stunned the sports world when he announced he had tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, during a routine physical exam. Johnson also announced his retirement from basketball but returned in 1992 and again in 1996. He turned his enthusiasm and leadership skills to business. Among his successes, he developed movie theaters and shopping malls in poor and neglected sections of large cities where no one else would invest.
In September 1991, just before he learned he had HIV, Johnson wed longtime friend Earletha "Cookie" Kelly. The couple had a son in 1993 and adopted a daughter in 1995. Johnson also has a son from a previous relationship who lives near his estate. Ever optimistic, Johnson believed that the right combination of medicine, diet, and exercise would help him to survive until a cure for AIDS was found.
Johnson's physicians announced in early 1997 that the AIDS virus in his body had been reduced to undetectable levels. They attributed the improvement to the use of powerful drugs, including protease inhibitors. His wife Cookie gave the credit to God stating, "The Lord has definitely healed Earvin. Doctors think it's the medicine. We claim it in the name of Jesus." The Johnsons attended the West Angles Church of God in Christ, to which he donated $5 million in 1995. Calls to the Lakers front office were not returned.
Analysis: This must surely come as a shock to Mr. Johnson, who was photographed visiting Baltimore to promote his "Know Your Money" program for minority professionals just days after this "news story" supposedly broke on September 18, 2003. A photo taken on September 22 shows a happy, healthy-looking retired basketball star.
It's unknown where the claim that Magic Johnson is on his deathbed originated, but no such item was posted on the CNN website, nor has any other news outlet reported it.
Johnson was diagnosed with HIV in 1991, but thanks to AIDS-inhibiting drugs the virus remained dormant in his body and he has never exhibited full-blown symptoms of the disease.
Share This Article
Sources and further reading:
Build a Fortune, Like Magic
Baltimore Sun, 23 September 2003
Magic Johnson's Victory Over Aids
Los Angeles Times, 7 November 2003
Last updated: 09/25/03